Pharmacy Technology | BCTC

Pharmacy Technology


Help registered pharmacists prepare medications. There’s a growing demand for pharmacy techs as our population ages and new drugs go on the market every day.

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What is Pharmacy Technology?

The Pharmacy Technology program is a one or two-semester program ending with either:

  • An Entry Level Certificate in Pharmacy Technology
  • An Advanced Level Diploma in Pharmacy Technology
    • Note: The diploma credential is being phased out and will not be available to incoming students.

The pharmacy technician prepares a student for a successful career as a pharmacy technician by:

  1. Providing simple instruction and laboratory experience. This allows you to enter the job market at a higher level of competency. It's better than what only on-the-job training can provide. 
  2. Offering real experience during the externship process.
  3. Preparing students for the Pharmacy Technology Certification Board.
  4. Stressing the significance of comprehension, communication and skill based competency.

Additional Information

What is the difference between the 2 credentials that we offer at BCTC?

Entry Level Pharmacy Technology Certificate

This certificate:

  • Requires the least amount of coursework credit hours (21 to 24)
  • Includes clinical rotation in an outpatient pharmacy

Certificate students qualify to work at any retail/outpatient pharmacy settings, such as: 

  • CVS Pharmacy, Walgreen Pharmacy, Walmart Pharmacy, Kroger Pharmacy, Kentucky Clinic, and Lexington Clinic.

Several factors determine your future salary. 

  • Your employer
  • Your education background
  • Personal experience and other factors

Advanced Level Pharmacy Technology Diploma

Note: The diploma credential is being phased out and will not be available to incoming students.

This diploma requires 37 to 40 credit hours to complete. Students will have all knowledge and training from the certificate. They will also get the advanced pharmacy practice courses.

Several factors determine your future salary:

  • Your employer
  • Your education background
  • Personal experience and other factors

What is the difference between Pharmacy Tech Training Programs and College of Pharmacy?

The Pharmacy Technology program is for students interested in a Pharmacy Technician career. College of Pharmacy is a professional program for pharmacists.

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians work closely together. Both have the job of pouring, mixing, and weighing the medication for accuracy. They both deal with insurance companies, physicians, and customers. But, they each have distinct roles and different education requirements.

Below are the main differences between these two pharmaceutical industry professionals.

Education Differences

Pharmacy Technicians - Education requirements for pharmacy technicians vary by state. Very few states don't require any formal training beyond high school. Most states require formal training and a certification upon graduation.

There is no standardized national education requirement. However, pharmacy technicians have to pass the PTCE. It's a standardized test administered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). This certification is recognized in all fifty states.

Pharmacists - Pharmacists hold a doctorate in pharmacology. The PharmD degree (or doctor of pharmacy) is a six-year degree. A one-year internship under a licensed pharmacist must happen after this education.

Then, pharmacists must pass the NAPLEX. NAPLEX is the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination. Finally, the individual registers with their state's Board of Pharmacy. 

Differences in Duties

Pharmacy Technicians - Pharmacy technicians work closely with pharmacists. The pharmacy technician may accept a prescription from the patient. But, they are not allowed to dispense a medication without having pharmacist approval. When it gets packed and labeled, the pharmacist must review it for accuracy. Then it can go to the patient.

Pharmacy technicians also assist the pharmacist by performing administrative tasks. Tasks include:

  • Running the cash register
  • Filing paperwork
  • Processing insurance claims 
  • Tracking inventory 

They do not give medical advice to patients.

Pharmacists - The pharmacist has all the responsibilities in the pharmacy. They:

  • Lead the pharmacy technicians
  • Create medications from specified ingredients
  • Double-check each prescription before it's given to the patient
  • Ensure each prescription sold is legal and valid
  • Make sure that they adhere to all regulations

Pharmacists spend a good part of their day giving medical advice to patients. Some states allow pharmacists to write prescriptions. They're limited to common, non-regulated medications. This includes antibiotics or mild pain relievers.

How to Apply

All students must agree to submit and pass background check and drug screening to be considered for enrollment. Students must also meet immunization requirements to prior to internship (PHA 150 and PHA 251). Financial aid and scholarships are available for eligible students.

Each applicant must submit the following items: 

  1. BCTC application;
  2. Official high school transcripts.
    If a transcript is unavailable, the following are acceptable:
    • A passing GED® official score report
    • Evidence the student has completed a home school curriculum
    • These are subject to the ability to benefit criteria for:
      • KCTCS financial aid purposes
      • KCTCS Assessment and Placement Policy
  3. Official transcripts of all postsecondary education;
  4. ACT (or SAT) and/or, ASSET or COMPASS test results;

Still have questions? To get more information about the program:

Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship

Visit the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship website for more information on applying for Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship program.

Field Licensure Requirements

Students must pass a national certification exam to become a certified pharmacy technician. Some states may also require state licensure and testing. Visit your state Board of Pharmacy site for individual state requirements.

Other requirements that students must complete before starting the program include:

  • CPR certification at the healthcare provider level
  • Proof of immunizations 
  • Background checks 
  • Drug screens 

What are my career choices?

  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Pharmacy Manager
  • Pharmacist

What are my degree, diploma, or certificate options?

The catalog describes the course requirements for completing the credential. Students are required to schedule an appointment with their assigned academic advisor to ensure achievement of their academic goals.

Note: The diploma credential is being phased out and will not be available to incoming students.

Length of Program

Please check the KCTCS Catalog for more information. You should always choose classes in cooperation with your faculty advisor to ensure that you meet all degree requirements.

Request More Information

Program Contact

Vicki Partin

Assistant Dean Allied Health

(859) 246-6414
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